Scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are planning to find a sea route from the Bay of Bengal to shift missiles to the newly proposed Missile Testing Range at Sorlagondi village in Krishna District.
In 2012, the Ministry of Defence had announced setting up of a Missile Testing Range on the shore of this fishing village in Nagayalanka mandal.
“It is difficult to transport the missiles by road and the movement of heavy vehicles would damage the fragile ecosystem.
“The DRDO officials were planning to bring the missiles to the testing range from their laboratories using sea vessels,” said an officer.
A team of DRDO officials – scientist D.V. Rao and engineer Sharma – along with Forest Department officials last week visited the proposed site for the Long Range Missile Testing Facility and discussed the allocation of land.
When the forest authorities suggested finding a sea route, instead of a roadway, to prevent any harm to the environment while shifting the machinery, the DRDO officials responded positively and assured them of discussing the feasibility of the plan with senior scientists.
In-charge Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife DFO) Shaik Kaleelullah said that Eluru Range Wildlife Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) S.S. Sridhar and others accompanied the DRDO officials on the visit.
“Earlier, the Ministry of Defence had asked the district administration to allocate land for the construction of a road to shift the machinery for the testing centre.
But the DRDO officials came up with a proposal to take up dredging in the Krishna at the mouth of the sea to help shift the missiles from the sea through the river to the testing point.
The DRDO officials said that they would submit fresh proposals to the Forest Department, River Conservation Authority (Irrigation Department) for permission to take up dredging and transportation in Krishna river, as it is located in Reserve Forest,” said Mr. Kaleelullah.
After receiving the fresh proposals from the DRDO, the Forest Department will send them to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) through the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests seeking permission for allowing the vessels into the river through the sea, said the In-charge DFO.